Dean and Dan Caten, who built their fashion success on an uplifting, joyful idea of fashion, are being true to themselves amid these unsettling times.
“When things get more complicated, people are pushed to clean up and consider what is safer for them,” said Dan Caten, referring to the brand’s first reaction to the pandemic when it presented an almost minimal spring 2021 collection. “Now we understood that ‘safe’ for us means giving people what they expect from us, which is glam and fun.”
In keeping with the pre-fall 2021 season, the designers continued to play with an intentionally trashy-glam look, clashing such disparate elements as sequins and crystals with plaid patterns and Fair Isle motifs.
Dan Caten said Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya” movie inspired the woman they envisioned for the collection: a brave, frisky, unconventional and unapologetic one.
The American skater Tonya Harding probably would have loved to perform in one of the collection’s minidresses, covered with rhinestones or sequins, and she would have felt comfortable at warming herself up after the performance with revisited Canadian curling sweaters and puffers splashed in vibrant prints.
From the brand’s signature patchwork jeans to the new tweed suits, pairing mini bubble skirts with wide-collar jackets, everything was injected with a lively, ironic attitude.
Ditto the men’s lineup. There, maxi puffers with inlaid plaid shirts or jackets combining the materials and silhouettes of blazers and denim trucker styles stole the spotlight. Outdoor references, such as Fair Isle sweaters revisited through the brand’s playful filter, met the glamours appeal of suits embellished with crystals and shirts featuring lace panels.
Aficionados of the 1990s will appreciate Dsquared2’s collaboration with Canadian footwear designer Patrick Cox, the man behind the iconic Wannabe square-toe loafer that the Caten twins revisited for new styles, including an ankle boot for men and a platform-heeled loafer for women.